Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our Feathered Friends

Golf Finch waiting to its turn for the feeder.

During the past month of January and the beginning of February, the weather here in Minnesota has been quite unusual.  We normally have temperatures in the low teens and many times below zero.  This winter though we have had weather that has stretched from well below zero one week, to that of rain and lightening in the next.  Weather patterns have been unusual to say the least.  Last night as I was about to go to sleep, I could hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on the skylight above my bed.  The normal high for February at this time is around 30 degrees during the daylight hours and below freezing at night, so to hear rain late in the evening is a little unnerving.  On top of this, a friend from Wyoming said that the spring robins started to arrive.  She was worried that they would have nothing to eat this early in the year.  Someone commented with jest that they would have to eat frozen worms!  I do understand that global warming has changed our weather in that the poles are starting to melt, which in turn might begin to drastically change the weather throughout the planet.  This is a concern to be sure.

This week Anne is off work with Educational Testing Service, of which she does online.  It has been refreshing to have her with the kids and I during the day.  I see a more relaxed wife with having the time to enjoy her children and myself.  As for my day, homeschooling has been less stressed while we spend more time with Anne.  I have especially enjoyed sitting around early in the morning having coffee with Anne. 

Cardinals enjoying seeds on the ground.
Anne and I have spent more time talking while watching the wildlife outside our windows.  The different species of birds are coming to our feeders now, and they don’t seem to mind each other while they eat the sunflower seeds.  During the spring mating season, well that is another scenario though.  Each of the different types of birds fight within their species for territory and the mate of their choice.  This is more evident with the cardinals than any other species of birds.  They will have two to four litters (clutches) during the spring and summer months.  Tolerating each other at the bird feeder can be very interesting to watch sometimes as they chirp and fluff their feathers out, all the while trying to vie for their place at the feeder.  Since we have the feeders full of sunflower seeds most of the time, they never lack for food and consequently their mortality rate is low.  Because we provide a plentiful food source, we have an overabundance of songbirds in the trees around our home, which makes for a beautiful cacoffeny of chirps and calls that resound throughout the woods. 

Hummingbirds love Anne's flowers.
One of the most enjoyable sights for us is the hummingbirds that arrive in late May to early June.  They bring with them the energy of song and life as they flit back and forth from flower to feeder, and back to Anne’s flowers again.  Their little high resounding chirps remind me of Woodstock the yellow finch in the “Peanuts” movies.  They dance back and forth in the air, sometimes in a horseshoe shape pattern that creates a sound that resembles a little motor speeding up and slowing down.  Many times they fly up to us, and then chirp away in a greeting of delight, only to see them the next moment flying off to play tag one with the other.  It is not unusual to see one hummingbird on the feeder while another hummingbird buzzing by bumps it off its perch.  They then begin the game of tag with both flying back and forth chasing each other all the while sending high chirps out as they seem to fly at the speed of light.  Our family gets excited thinking about these little creatures coming back in the spring.  God has blessed us with feathered friends that bring so much life and joy to our family.  We very much anticipate their arrival each year.